Online colleges in South Carolina help the state stand out when it comes to higher education. While it is known for sweet tea, peaches, mountains, and beaches, NC has a lot to offer students interested in learning online.
The southern state boasts a diverse list of postsecondary schools, including several large public research universities, and plenty of smaller private colleges focused on the arts, religion, or military training.
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Most students have access to online learning opportunities and financial aid resources when attending accredited online colleges in SC as well.
About Online Colleges in South Carolina
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that 21.5% of college students in South Carolina were enrolled exclusively in courses at online colleges. Another 37.1% were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. These numbers continue to rise as SC universities with online degrees increase their online course offerings.
Some state colleges offer more than 1,000 online courses, which can lead to special certifications, and undergraduate, or graduate degrees. The selection of programs at the graduate level is especially diverse, covering arts, sciences, engineering, education, nursing, information science, and more.
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Other universities offer several online degrees and certificate programs, in both fully online and blended formats. This allows you to choose which format best suits your learning style. Online graduate-level programs are also available in many areas.
Online programs at public colleges throughout the state are monitored by the state’s Commission on Higher Education (CHE). The CHE has a comprehensive set of standards and principles that guide distance education and prioritize quality instruction and equitable access, among other things.
Those looking for flexibility and quality educational programs may find online universities in SC have what they are looking for. The state is committed to quality education and making education available for everyone regardless of location.
Common Online Degrees in South Carolina
Online universities in South Carolina offer a vast array of degree programs. If you’re looking for one of the more common degrees in the state, check out the following ideas.
- Business Administration: Some students choose to get a business degree because it offers preparation for jobs in small businesses, large corporations, nonprofit organizations, and even public agencies.
- Criminal Justice: This field of study covers not only policing and law enforcement but also courts and correctional systems.
- Education: If your goal is to work with students, whether preschoolers, middle-grade kids, or teenagers, you may consider earning an online teaching degree.
- Healthcare Management: Healthcare is a sector with growing job demand, and that includes positions for business leaders who specialize in heading up medical organizations.
- Nursing: A four-year degree program in nursing provides excellent preparation for becoming a licensed registered nurse (RN) and, if desired, continuing your advanced education in nursing.
These degrees are widely available from online schools in South Carolina, and they can lead to promising career options in interesting fields
Overview of Higher Education in South Carolina
South Carolina is home to 62 degree-granting institutions, according to the data provided by the NCES. Of these, 33 are public schools, 23 are private non-profit schools and 6 are private for-profit schools.
NCES data shows that tuition in the state is thousands of dollars above the national average. In-state tuition and fees at South Carolina’s public 4-year institutions run about $16,378, on average. Out-of-state students will pay around $25,420.
Students who have trouble finding schools that offer their chosen major can take advantage of the state’s involvement in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which encourages resource sharing among 16 participating states. Through this program, South Carolina students can enroll in degree programs in nearby states while paying in-state tuition rates.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in South Carolina
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 2,306,100 people employed in the state of South Carolina.
South Carolina’s unemployment rate is typically lower than the overall US unemployment rate. Approximately 3.2% of the state’s civilian labor force is unemployed. The unemployment rate for the nation as a whole was 3.6%.
The information sector is experiencing tremendous growth. The year-over-year job growth rate for roles in information was 6.4%. The education and health services sector grew by 5.3%. Positions in leisure and hospitality increased by 4.0% during the same period.
The median annual salary for jobs in South Carolina is about $37,252.80. Jobs in management, computing, business, finance, and healthcare produce some of the highest annual wages in the state.
Careers & Salaries in South Carolina
When you’re deciding what to major in, you might want to select a degree that will get you ready for one of the state’s most common roles.
For example, there are many teachers, nurses, and police officers in this state. Teachers may provide education at the preschool through high school levels. Nurses may work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other healthcare settings. Police officers might be employed by state or local departments.
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Business managers are common as well, especially general or operations managers. People who have management experience may go on to become management analysts. In general, business is a large job category. In particular, there are many jobs for marketing specialists, market research analysts, and human resource specialists. Business organizations may also need sales representatives.
For those skilled in technology, there are SC jobs in systems analysis and software development. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many South Carolina residents are employed in the following job categories. Most require a college degree. For others, a degree would be helpful, but it’s not always essential.
|Annual Median Salaries
|Computer Systems Analysts
|General and Operations Managers
|Human Resources Specialists
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
|Elementary School Teachers
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
|Sales Representatives of Services
Your degree will influence whether any of these careers are right for you, so take that into account when determining what to study in college.
How to Know If an Online Degree is Right for Me
If you possess the following resources and attributes, online college might be right for you.
- Appropriate learning environment: If you focus best in a calm, quiet place, you’ll likely want to make sure an environment like that will be available for your studies. Unlike on-campus students, you won’t be learning the material in hushed lecture halls.
- Computer skills: To succeed in an online program, you’ll likely need to be proficient with skills like navigating websites, uploading PDFs, and participating in discussion forums.
- Independence: Building relationships through online classes takes extra effort. You may find online college more satisfying if you’re okay with working on your own and aren’t anxious to participate in extracurriculars.
- Self-discipline: Online learners benefit from personal organization and self-motivation. You’ll typically be responsible for checking in with your class materials on a regular basis, submitting assignments on time, and reaching out for extra help.
With these characteristics, many South Carolina students experience online learning success.
South Carolina Online Universities Admissions Requirements
Colleges that offer South Carolina online degrees each set their own admissions policies. Often, the admissions requirements include:
- High school completion shown using official school transcripts or a GED certificate
- Online application form and a small fee
- Scores from the ACT or the SAT (not needed at all schools)
Some online universities in South Carolinas may request additional information, such as an interview, a resume, reference letters, or a sample of your writing abilities.
SC Colleges and Universities Online Accreditation
You’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes from selecting a regionally accredited online college. Accredited schools have been approved by an outside evaluating body, so you can trust that you’re earning a reputable degree.
Accreditation is a requirement for using federal financial aid. Also, when determining whether to accept transfer credits or admit graduate students, colleges usually consider the accreditation status of the previous college. Regional accreditation can make a difference when it comes to employment too.
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In general, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional accreditor for South Carolina.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
For those interested in earning online degrees in SC, it can be helpful to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can provide access to federal, state, and private financial aid.
Financial aid is typically awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s important to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible. In addition to federal assistance, residents of South Carolina may also receive aid through the following programs:
- Palmetto Fellows Scholarship: This is a merit-based program with specific academic requirements and awards up to $6,700 for freshmen, and up to $7,500 per year for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
- Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) Scholarship: This merit-based program is administered by the financial aid office at each eligible school. The award amounts vary based on school and program duration.
- South Carolina HOPE Scholarship: This program is merit-based for students attending a 4-year institution who do not qualify for the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarships. It awards up to $2,800
- Lottery Tuition Assistance Program: This program is intended for students at 2-year institutions and awards up to $1,140 per term if full-time, or $95 per credit hour if part-time.
- South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP): This program is for members of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard. It awards up to $4,500 for Army National Guard and up to $9,000 for Air National Guard, per year.
The financial aid received through the programs listed above does not have to be repaid. Much like grants, scholarships also do not have to be repaid. Here are a few examples of those available to South Carolinians:
- African American Network of the Carolinas: $2,000
- Betty Feezor Scholarship: Varies
- Cancer for College Carolinas Scholarship: $1,000-5,000
- Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship: Varies
- South Carolina Press Association Scholarship: $1,000
Finally, you may be eligible to receive aid through the college or university you choose. To find out more, you will need to check with the school’s financial aid office.
South Carolina Online Education Resources
When going back to school, take full advantage of the resources that are available for students at South Carolina online colleges.
- SC Technical College System: You can use this website to learn about the state’s 14 schools that provide vocation-specific training through on-campus and online classes.
- South Carolina Commission on Higher Education: Among other resources, the CHE website offers details about scholarships and grants for in-state students.
- South Carolina Transfer and Articulation Center: If you hope to move credits from one college to another, SC TRAC will help you explore your options.
You might refer to these useful websites throughout your college experience.
Should I Get an Online Degree?
You can ask yourself the following questions as you determine whether SC online degrees are right for you.
- Do I want to earn more? A degree may qualify you for raises or promotions.
- Do I need to work while taking classes? Many online students can balance both.
- Is there time in my schedule? Online coursework can often be completed at flexible hours, but you’ll still need to set aside time for it.
- Is this a personal goal? Perhaps getting a degree would fulfill a lifelong dream!
If getting a degree is important to you, online college could be the way to make it happen.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in South Carolina?
The National Center for Education Statistics provides data on school tuition costs. In-state students pay, on average, $12,544 for tuition at four-year public universities that year. At two-year schools, they typically pay around $4,964.
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Out-of-state students pay $33,055 for four-year public schools and $10,313 for two-year ones. Private schools usually cost the same for in-state and out-of-state enrollees. Students who attended private colleges spend roughly $27,317 on tuition.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
South Carolina and 14 other states participate in the Academic Common Market. The Southern Regional Education Board runs this program. Through it, students can save money on select majors at out-of-state schools.
To qualify, you must live in one of the Academic Common Market states. If a public university has a college major that’s not available from one of your state’s schools, you may be eligible for this program. If so, you’ll receive the in-state tuition rate at the SC school. This discount is mainly for on-campus programs. In some cases, online studies may qualify.
What Jobs Are in Demand in South Carolina?
South Carolina Works Online Services is predicting an overall job growth rate of more than 9% over the next decade. Some occupations are expected to have even more growth than that.
Many of the fastest-growing jobs require a college degree. They include:
- Application Software Developers: 35.77% growth
- Operations Research Analysts: 34.14% growth
- Information Security Analysts: 31.85% growth
- Industrial Engineers: 30.18% growth
- Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists: 26.79% growth
Training for a career with noteworthy job growth may increase your employability after graduation.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in South Carolina?
Going to college could be the first step toward securing a job in one of the state’s highest-paying industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers details on some of the most lucrative jobs in South Carolina.
The highest-paying job possibilities include several healthcare positions. Pathologists have a median annual salary of $206,668.80. Dentists usually earn around $206,065.60. While such healthcare jobs require advanced degrees, some promising roles need only a bachelor’s degree that you may be able to earn online.
The average South Carolina chief executive makes $164,964.80 per year. The state’s architectural and engineering managers can make $127,961.60 annually.
List of Online Colleges in South Carolina
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Anderson University offers degree programs online, with areas of study such as Criminal Justice, Health Science in Medical Imaging, Business Administration, Healthcare Management, Christian Studies, Homeland Security, and Emergency Services. Anderson aims to provide convenience and flexibility in a Christ-centered learning environment.
Anderson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Charleston Southern University offers online degree programs in study areas such as Cybersecurity, Project Management, Applied Computing, Business Analytics, Healthcare Management, and Supply Chain Management. Classes are typically 7 weeks long and are often taught in an asynchronous format, with no set login times.
Charleston Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Claflin University’s online bachelor’s degree programs include study areas such as Criminal Justice, Organizational Management, and Psychology, and an RN to BSN program. At the graduate level, an MBA, MSN, MS in Criminal Justice, or an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction may be pursued.
Claflin University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Clemson University offers an online RN to BSN program, as well as online graduate degree programs in study areas such as Educational Leadership, Automotive Engineering, Construction Science Management, Literacy, Human Resource Development, and more. Clemson’s online programs are designed to provide the same quality instruction received in a traditional on-campus format.
Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Coastal Carolina University offers an online bachelor’s degree in study areas such as Information Technology, Health Administration, Marketing, Special Education, and Hospitality, Resort, and Tourism Management. CCU’s online degree programs have the same curricula and requirements as their on-campus counterparts. Programs are designed to meet the needs of working professionals.
Coastal Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Coker University’s online programs may enable earning a degree even while leading a busy lifestyle. Fully online undergraduate majors include business management, psychology, sociology, criminology, and an RN to BSN program.
Courses typically provide due dates for assignments but are commonly otherwise flexible. Coker often allows for the transfer of credits earned at other schools, and aims to maintain partnerships with community colleges and technical schools.
Coker University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Columbia International University offers flexible online degree programs. The university aims to offer a Christian education in fields such as Business Administration, Healthcare Administration, Human Services, General Studies, or a Nursing RN to BSN program. Courses are commonly taught from a real-world experience perspective.
Columbia International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lander University offers online bachelor’s degree programs in study areas such as Business Administration, Psychology, Human Services, Criminology, Nursing RN to BSN, Paralegal Studies, and Public Health. Programs are designed to be flexible and to help prepare for entry into a diverse range of careers.
Lander University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Online degree programs at Limestone University include healthcare administration, business administration and accounting, liberal studies, human resource management, programming, information technology, nursing RN to BSN, applied science, and more. Typically, 6 terms of 7.5 weeks are offered each year, and 2 courses at a time are usually taken.
Limestone is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Medical University of South Carolina offers an online BS in Healthcare Studies. The school also offers online graduate degrees in extracorporeal science, health informatics, health administration, and more. The programs typically require 1 campus visit each semester. All curricula are designed to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The Medical University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Online degree options at Newberry College include areas of study such as Criminal Justice, Psychology, Nursing RN to BSN, and more. Newberry offers a credit transfer policy and also may grant college credit for prior work experience. The academic content of online courses is typically the same material taught in campus courses.
Newberry College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
North Greenville University offers online degree programs at the bachelors, masters and doctorate level. Common areas of study include General Studies, Cybersecurity, Applied Psychology, Business and Leadership, Elementary Educational Studies, Christian Ministries, and Criminal Justice. Faculty mentorship is typically offered in a Christ-centered learning community.
NGU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Online programs at SC State University include a Master of Business Administration, an Education Specialist, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and more. Courses are designed to be flexible and convenient, so they can fit within a busy lifestyle. High-quality instruction from faculty is the goal of SC State University’s online programs.
SCSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern Wesleyan University offers online undergraduate degree programs with areas of study such as Early Childhood and Family Studies, Multi-Categorical Special Education, Early Childhood and Family Studies Management, Business Administration, Psychology, Human Services, and Criminal Justice. Courses are typically 7 weeks long, and are commonly taught from a Christian perspective.
Southern Wesleyan University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Citadel Military College of South Carolina offers an online program for a BA in Criminal Justice, as well as degree completion programs in study areas such as Secondary Education (Social Studies), Business Administration, Intelligence and Security Studies, and Strength and Conditioning. The Citadel was ranked the Top Public College in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
The Citadel is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of South Carolina offers hundreds of courses online, as well as fully online bachelor’s degree programs. Areas of study include Nursing RN to BSN, Integrated Information Technology, and Interdisciplinary Studies in Service Management. Programs are designed to provide the flexibility to study anytime from any place with an Internet connection.
The University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of South Carolina AIken offers online degree completion programs, including in areas of study such as Business Administration, Applied Computer Science, Emerging Media, Liberal Studies, Special Education, Communication, Nursing, and Psychology. Class sizes are typically small so that engagement with instructors can be encouraged. Course delivery is designed to be flexible and convenient.
The University of South Carolina Aiken is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of South Carolina Beaufort offers online degree completion programs in study areas such as Interdisciplinary Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Public Health, Hospitality, and Human Services. Online courses are commonly taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. There are also multiple campus locations to take some courses face-to-face.
The University of South Carolina Beaufort is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of South Carolina Upstate offers programs for an online bachelor’s degree in study areas such as Communication, Criminal Justice, Engineering Technology Management, Advanced Manufacturing Management, Health Information Management, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Management.
Additional programs are also available in a hybrid format. Online courses may be taught in synchronous or asynchronous formats.
The University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Online degree programs at Winthrop University include an MA in Arts Administration, a Master of Social Work, a Master of Business Administration, and an MEd in Special Education Intervention. Curricula are designed to not only help prepare for individual career advancement, but also to promote civic engagement and global awareness.
Winthrop University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Getting Your Online Degree in South Carolina
Indeed, there is more to South Carolina than beautiful landscapes. The state is home to top-notch colleges and universities, with online and on-campus opportunities to help launch you into a successful career.
When you’re ready to take the next step in your journey, consider researching accredited SC colleges with online programs that fit your goals.